McCain Out of Touch with NASCAR on Tire Inflation

“There are things you can do individually to save energy,” Barack Obama said last week “… Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires. And getting regular tune-ups. You’d actually save just as much.”

This week the McCain campaign has been mocking Obama’s assertion that keeping tires inflated conserves gasoline by selling tire gauges, for a $25 donation, labeled “Obama Energy Plan.” They plan to hand them out in California this weekend when McCain and Obama both speak a church in Orange County. A McCain operative laid on the snark:

Rick Gorka, the McCain campaign spokesman, said he helped put together the prop as “just another avenue for us to highlight that Barack Obama’s energy policy is completely out of touch with what Americans need” … “He says inflate your tires and tune up your cars, and we don’t need to drill” for offshore oil.

But it ain’t Obama who is out of touch:

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that drivers can improve gas mileage by as much as 3.3 percent by keeping car tires property inflated. The agency also says the impact would be immediate, resulting in savings of as much as 12 cents per gallon.

New oil drilling could also lower gas prices, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts it would take seven to 10 years to get new oil out of the ground.

Even NASCAR extols the cost-saving and other benefits of keeping tires inflated:

Tires that are underinflated by 6 to 7 pounds per square inch increase tire rolling resistance 10 percent or more, increase tread wear rates and tire fatigue. When a tire is underinflated, the tire’s road contact zone and cyclic stress level changes resulting in undesirable loss in tire and vehicle performance.

To prevent the above, we recommend the following in maintaining proper inflation level (a vehicle’s proper inflation level can be found either on the door or on a placard in the glove box) and in checking tire wear:

• Check tire inflation pressure (including the spare) at least once a month and before every long trip. Tires must be checked when they are cold; that is, before they been run a mile.

• Tires should be rotated at least every 6,000-8,000 miles and the alignment should be checked once a year. Misaligned tires can cause the car to drag, which lowers mileage and causes unnecessary tire wear.

• At least once a month, motorists should inspect the tires closely for signs of uneven wear. Uneven wear patterns may be caused by improper inflation pressures, misalignment, improper balance or suspension neglect. If not corrected, further tire damage will occur.

Nearly ninety percent of drivers don’t check their tire inflation properly. However, this percentage is starting to drop as gas prices underinflate consumer pocketbooks.

With escalating fuel prices, the time is now for drivers to focus on simple things like proper tire pressure to maximize tire performance and increase fuel economy.

Back in the day, every Southern kid my age got a lecture about keeping our tires inflated. I’m pretty sure it’s in Leviticus.

How could McCain, the former fighter pilot, not know this?

Unlike the majority of us, he’s married to $100 million and so doesn’t do the maintenance on his cars, so maybe he just forgot.


  • Bamboo Harvester
    August 5, 2008 - 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Hey, DLC & Liberal comentator (Democrat losers committee)
    CUT THE SHIT !!!
    STOP! Analyzing Obama’s every movement!
    Put Mccain on the defensive and keep him there then just Bash Bash bash like they do.

    Dems should be handing out
    “DEPENDS” Stamped “Mccain 08” or
    McCain MaGoo Sock Puppets.

  • August 6, 2008 - 5:59 am | Permalink

    But this article is about McCain, not Obama.

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